Charlie Christian: Innovator of the Electric Guitar

Charlie Christian–Innovator of the Electric Guitar

Jeffrey Flynn
[email protected]
Bartlett High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Multimedia/Digital Media
Information Processing


High School


General Music


1) Computers with internet access

2) Teacher designed web page on Charlie Christian (see below)


60 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

1) Internet surfing ability

2) Basic understanding of jazz chronology

NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME standard of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
NAfME standard of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 

NAfME standard of 1994: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
NAfME standard of 1994: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture

NAfME 2014: Connections


1) Teacher designed web page on Charlie Christian including
a) Biographical info
b) Sound clips
c) Pictures
d) Transcriptions
e) Links to other sites


1) Students will be able to navigate through a web site (including going to other links.)
2) Students will understand Charlie Christian’s contributions to guitar playing and to jazz music in general.
3) Students will hypothesize on Charlie Christian’s influence outside of the early bebop jazz period.
4) Students will compose a short essay on Charlie Christian explaining what they have learned.


1) Teacher will bookmark Charlie Christian–Innovator of the Electric Guitar web page for students to browse.
2) Students will look through biographical, sound clips, and links pages to gather information on Christian’s life and legacy.
3) Students will compose a short essay (3-6) paragraphs on Christian’s life, playing career, sphere of influence, and what they believe Charlie Christian’s legacy has lead to.



4) Student has gathered a sufficient amount of material from the web and has composed a well-written and informative essay

3) Student has gathered some information and has written an acceptable essay

2) Student has gathered little information and/or has written a poor essay

1) Student has gathered no information and/or has not written an essay

Follow Up:

Link Charlie Christian’s legacy to later electric guitar players in both the jazz genre and other styles (Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Joe Pass, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, etc.)

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